Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Role Models and Working to Live

One of the problems (and that's with a small "p") of being in the same business for a while (in our case nearly 20 years) is that your "friends" send you stuff that they see in which they think you might have an interest because it relates in some way to your personal or professional interests.

I should quickly add here that I really don't mean this to sound like a complaint for in truth people who do things like that are the type one remembers - and for all the right reasons. In addition, and as an organization that bangs the networking drum as hard as we do, I should and do applaud these types of communications. All of which is a long way of saying my friend and colleague Robyn Greenspan, our Senior Editor, sent along a copy of a recent article by Anna Bahney of the NY Times called A Life Between Jobs.
One of the stats in the article stated that between 1978 and 2002, people between the ages of 18-38 had held 10.2 jobs. According to my calculator (I would never trust myself to do it otherwise) that says these folks were changing jobs every 2.3 years give or take a few months. No wonder the service award industry is in a slump!

What struck me about all this was when I went back and checked some of the data in our annual Executive Job Market Intelligence Report
it told me that our ExecuNet members (whose average age is 49) said they changed jobs every 2.7 years and companies every 3.3 years. So much for " 25 and out" which if you are an executive with more than 25+ years experience you already are well aware that the old saw of "25 and out" "went out", as they say, "with high button shoes."

Each generation looks to the next for role models on a lot of levels, and given that I am of the generation, which I am not proud to report, put the organization ahead of not only ourselves but worse, our families, The generation behind us took a gander at that and said "not on my watch." None of my kids took jobs in corporate America. For sure they understand one needs to work in order to live, but having seen the "price" of "living to work" they have elected to work to live.

When I look at the stats above, and while clearly there are many factors that cause the numbers to be what they are, one of them, I think, has something to do with putting job satisfaction and life style issues, if not in front of dollars and cents, at least much higher on the list than they used to be. As I say, seeing what has gone on with our parents is certainly part of what has brought about this change, but only one factor. There's another called 9/11 that probably has something to do with it too.

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